Folk Tales of Ireland


Folk tales have long served to entertain children or convey moral lessons to people throughout history. While many of use of fantastical events and magic, there may actually be a kernel of truth behind these stories. In many cases, folk tales originally started with some true, real event or person. Over the years, many generations would verbally recount the same story, adding exaggerations to make it more interesting or sensational. When the stories were finally written down much later, the resulting tales became very far-fetched from the original event that inspired it.

Great Resources

Story Tellers – In Irish culture, the seanachie was traditionally the local storyteller who recounted history and folk tales.

Folk Tales from Irish Peasant Classes – The famed author, W.B. Yeats compiled a number of Irish folk tales and edited them into an Anthology.

Irish Folklore Resources – Discover more about the history of Ireland’s culture, literature and mythology.

A Selection of Irish Folk Tales – Read a few Irish folk tales that originated centuries earlier.

Assorted Irish Folk Tales – Each of the stories in this selection offer some background information about the tale.

Online Reads

Irish Fairy and Folk Tales – Choose from a number of stories by thematic categories in a virtual book.

A Variety of Celtic Folk Tale Books - A number of Celtic folk tale books are offered in an online format for easy reading without downloading.

Irish Folk Tale Books – Pick from a series of Irish folk tale compilations and read them online.

Celtic Fairy Tales – Written by Joseph Jacobs in 1892, this book is an anthology of old Celtic folk tales.

Celtic Fairy Tales for Kids – Print a series of short Celtic fairy stories written especially for children.

Folklore from Ireland – Find reading suggestions from a list of Irish and Celtic folk tales.

Irish Fairy Tales – An Irish novelist named James Stephens penned this series of retellings in 1920.

King Arthur

A Beginner's Guide to King Arthur – Learn all about the real King Arthur, with a timeline, articles, and recovered ancient texts.

Depictions of King Arthur – See how King Arthur is portrayed through time by different authors.

All About King Arthur – Compare the modern-day portrayals of King Arthur with the real historical figure and learn about his family tree.

King Arthur, the Legend – Over time, King Arthur’s conquests and feats were so largely celebrated that he became a near mythical character.

The Holy Grail Legends – There have been numerous connections between King Arthur and various religious icons, such as the Holy Grail.

Who Was King Arthur? – Explore the real history behind King Arthur and his surroundings.

A Character Analysis of King Arthur – Find out more about the character of King Arthur as he is depicted in much literature.

General Folktales

General Folk Tale Resources – Browse through online libraries, directories, and dedicated sites all related to folk and fairy tales.

Online Folk Tales – Read more about assorted folk tales and myths in this neatly-organized alphabetical selection.

A Kids' Guide to Folk Tales – Kids can read up on some entertaining, illustrated fables and folklore from different cultures.

Fairy Tales for Kids – Younger readers will have a ball with this online collection of folklore from around the world, penned by author Aaron Shepard.

Write Your Own Folktale – In this guide, children are introduced to the basic elements of folktales and learn how to write one of their own.

Animated Folk Tales – Watch a series of fun, animated videos that recount different folk tales and fables for young children.